Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism is defined as any terrorist act, set of acts or campaign committed by groups or individuals who profess Islamic or Islamist motivations or goals. Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through their own interpretation of the Quran and Hadith; the motivation for Islamic terrorism in part comes from the idea of Islamic supremacy, encapsulated in the formula, "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."The highest numbers of incidents and fatalities caused by Islamic terrorism occur in Iraq, Nigeria and Syria. In 2015 four Islamic extremist groups were responsible for 74% of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2016. In recent decades, such incidents have occurred on a global scale, affecting not only Muslim-majority states in Africa and Asia, but several other countries, including those within the European Union, Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Such attacks have targeted non-Muslims. In a number of the worst-affected Muslim-majority regions, these terrorists have been met by armed, independent resistance groups, state actors and their proxies, elsewhere by condemnation coming from prominent Islamic figures; the literal use of the phrase "Islamic terrorism" is disputed. Such use in Western political speech has variously been called "counter-productive", "highly politicized, intellectually contestable" and "damaging to community relations". However, others have referred to the refusal to use the term as an act of "self-deception", "full-blown censorship" and "intellectual dishonesty"; some Muslim commentators assert that extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites. From their political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shi'a Muslims; the Kharijites were noted for adopting a radical approach of takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death.
After failed post-colonial attempts at state formation and the creation of Israel, a series of Marxist and anti-Western transformations and movements swept throughout the Arab and Islamic world. The growth of these nationalist and revolutionary movements, along with their views that terrorism could be effective in reaching their political goals, generated the first phase of modern international terrorism. In the late 1960s, Palestinian secular movements such as Al Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine began to target civilians outside the immediate arena of conflict. Following Israel's 1967 defeat of Arab forces, Palestinian leaders began to see that the Arab world was unable to militarily confront Israel. During the same time, lessons drawn from revolutionary movements in Latin America, North Africa, Southeast Asia as well as during the Jewish struggle against Britain in Palestine, saw the Palestinians turn away from guerrilla warfare towards urban terrorism; these movements were secular in nature but their international organization served to spread terrorist tactics worldwide.
While secular Palestinians were the most significant movement in the 1970s, religiously motivated groups grew after the failure of Arab nationalism in the 1967 war. In the Middle East, Islamic movements came into conflict with secular nationalism. Islamic groups were supported by Saudi Arabia. According to Bruce Hoffman of RAND, in 1980 two out of 64 groups were categorized as having religious motivation, in 1995 half were religiously motivated with the majority having Islam as their guiding force; the year 1979 was a turning point in international terrorism. Throughout the Arab world and the West, the Iranian Islamic revolution ignited fears of a wave of revolutionary Shia Islam. Meanwhile, the Soviet–Afghan War and the subsequent anti-Soviet mujahedin war, lasting from 1979 to 1989, started the rise and expansion of terrorist groups. Since their beginning in 1994, the Pakistani-supported Taliban militia in Afghanistan has gained several characteristics traditionally associated with state-sponsors of terrorism, providing logistical support, travel documentation, training facilities.
Since 1989 the increasing willingness of religious extremists to strike targets outside immediate country or regional areas highlights the global nature of contemporary terrorism. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, are representative of this trend. The Global Terrorism Index report of 2015 illuminate the rise in death due to terrorism following the September 11, 2001 attack in this graphic: Since World War II, Muslim immigrants have emigrated to western countries in large numbers because fellow Muslim countries that are well-off economically and do not accept them. Out of the 57 Muslim majority countries, only two nations offer a formal path for immigrants to become naturalized citizens, regardless of birthplace, religious beliefs, marital status or ethnic origin; the oil-rich Gulf states do not grant citizenship to immigrants, regardless of how long they have resided in those countries. To make matters more difficult, Gulf states have stringent laws which explicitly state that an immigrant or expat can become a citizen only if his/her father was a citizen or, in some cases, if an expat woman marries an Arab national.
These laws make it impossible for expats to gain citizenship. In 2014, the self-appointed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the unrecognised Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, took advantage of this resentment among
Psychological warfare, or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations, have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, "Hearts and Minds", propaganda. The term is used "to denote any action, practiced by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people". Various techniques are used, are aimed at influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, motives, reasoning, or behavior, it is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states. Target audiences can be governments, organizations and individuals, is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can be targeted by technology and media so as to cause an effect in the government of their country.
In Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, Jacques Ellul discusses psychological warfare as a common peace policy practice between nations as a form of indirect aggression. This type of propaganda drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion; this form of aggression is hard to defend against because no international court of justice is capable of protecting against psychological aggression since it cannot be adjudicated. "Here the propagandists is dealing with a foreign adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his beliefs and actions." Since prehistoric times and chiefs have recognised the importance of weakening morale of opponents. In the Battle of Pelusium between the Persian Empire and ancient Egypt, the Persian forces used cats and other animals as a psychological tactic against the Egyptians, who avoided harming cats due to religious belief and spells. Currying favour with supporters was the other side of psychological warfare, an early practitioner of such this was Alexander the Great, who conquered large parts of Europe and the Middle East and held on to his territorial gains by co-opting local elites into the Greek administration and culture.
Alexander left some of his men behind in each conquered city to introduce Greek culture and oppress dissident views. His soldiers were paid dowries to marry locals in an effort to encourage assimilation. Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th century AD employed less subtle techniques. Defeating the will of the enemy before having to attack and reaching a consented settlement was preferable to facing his wrath; the Mongol generals demanded submission to the Khan, threatened the captured villages with complete destruction if they refused to surrender. If they had to fight to take the settlement, the Mongol generals fulfilled their threats and massacred the survivors. Tales of the encroaching horde spread to the next villages and created an aura of insecurity that undermined the possibility of future resistance; the Khan employed tactics that made his numbers seem greater than they were. During night operations he ordered each soldier to light three torches at dusk to give the illusion of an overwhelming army and deceive and intimidate enemy scouts.
He sometimes had objects tied to the tails of his horses, so that riding on open and dry fields raised a cloud of dust that gave the enemy the impression of great numbers. His soldiers used arrows specially notched to whistle as they flew through the air, creating a terrifying noise. Another tactic favoured by the Mongols was catapulting severed human heads over city walls to frighten the inhabitants and spread disease in the besieged city's closed confines; this was used by the Turko-Mongol chieftain. The Muslim caliph Omar, in his battles against the Byzantine Empire, sent small reinforcements in the form of a continuous stream, giving the impression that a large force would accumulate if not swiftly dealt with. During the early Qin dynasty and late Eastern Zhou dynasty in 1st Century AD China, the Empty Fort Strategy was used to trick the enemy into believing that an empty location is an ambush, in order to prevent them from attacking it using reverse psychology; this tactic relied on luck should the enemy believe that the location is a threat to them.
In the 6th century BCE Greek Bias of Priene resisted the Lydian king Alyattes by fattening up a pair of mules and driving them out of the besieged city. When Alyattes' envoy was sent to Priene, Bias had piles of sand covered with corn to give the impression of plentiful resources; this ruse appears to have been well known in medieval Europe: defenders in castles or towns under siege would throw food from the walls to show besiegers that provisions were plentiful. A famous example occurs in the 8th-century legend of Lady Carcas, who persuaded the Franks to abandon a five-year siege by this means and gave her name to Carcassonne as a result; the start of modern psychological operations in war is dated to the World War I. By that point, Western societies were educated and urbanized, mass media was available in the form of large circulation newspapers and posters, it was possible to transmit propaganda to the enemy via the use of airborne leaflets or through explosive delivery systems like modified artillery or mortar rounds.
At the start of the war, the belligerents the British and Germans, began distributing propaganda, both domestically and on the Western front. The British had several advantages that allowed them to succeed in the battle for wor
Violence is "the use of physical force so as to injure, damage, or destroy." Less conventional definitions are used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation."Globally, violence resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.28 million people in 2013 up from 1.13 million in 1990. Of the deaths in 2013 842,000 were attributed to self-harm, 405,000 to interpersonal violence, 31,000 to collective violence and legal intervention. In Africa, out of every 100,000 people, each year an estimated 60.9 die a violent death. For each single death due to violence, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits, thousands of doctors' appointments. Furthermore, violence has lifelong consequences for physical and mental health and social functioning and can slow economic and social development.
In 2013, assault by firearm was the leading cause of death due to interpersonal violence, with 180,000 such deaths estimated to have occurred. The same year, assault by sharp object resulted in 114,000 deaths, with a remaining 110,000 deaths from personal violence being attributed to other causes. Violence in many forms can be preventable. There is a strong relationship between levels of violence and modifiable factors in a country such as concentrated poverty and gender inequality, the harmful use of alcohol, the absence of safe and nurturing relationships between children and parents. Strategies addressing the underlying causes of violence can be effective in preventing violence, although mental and physical health and individual responses, etc. have always been decisive factors in the formation of these behaviors. The World Health Organization divides violence into three broad categories: self-directed violence interpersonal violence collective violenceThis initial categorization differentiates between violence a person inflicts upon himself or herself, violence inflicted by another individual or by a small group of individuals, violence inflicted by larger groups such as states, organized political groups, militia groups and terrorist organizations.
These three broad categories are each divided further to reflect more specific types of violence: physical sexual psychological emotionalAlternatively, violence can be classified as either instrumental or reactive / hostile. Self-directed violence is subdivided into suicidal self-abuse; the former includes suicidal thoughts, attempted suicides – called para suicide or deliberate self-injury in some countries – and completed suicides. Self-abuse, in contrast, includes acts such as self-mutilation. Collective violence is subdivided into economic violence. Unlike the other two broad categories, the subcategories of collective violence suggest possible motives for violence committed by larger groups of individuals or by states. Collective violence, committed to advance a particular social agenda includes, for example, crimes of hate committed by organized groups, terrorist acts and mob violence. Political violence includes war and related violent conflicts, state violence and similar acts carried out by larger groups.
Economic violence includes attacks by larger groups motivated by economic gain – such as attacks carried out with the purpose of disrupting economic activity, denying access to essential services, or creating economic division and fragmentation. Acts committed by larger groups can have multiple motives; this typology, while imperfect and far from being universally accepted, does provide a useful framework for understanding the complex patterns of violence taking place around the world, as well as violence in the everyday lives of individuals and communities. It overcomes many of the limitations of other typologies by capturing the nature of violent acts, the relevance of the setting, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, – in the case of collective violence – possible motivations for the violence. However, in both research and practice, the dividing lines between the different types of violence are not always so clear. State violence involves upholding, forms of violence of a structural nature, such as poverty, through dismantling welfare, creating strict policies such as'welfare to work', in order to cause further stimulation and disadvantage Poverty as a form of violence may involve oppressive policies that target minority or low socio-economic groups.
The'war on drugs', for example, rather than increasing the health and well-being of at risk demographics, most results in violence committed against these vulnerable demographics through incarceration and police brutality War is a state of prolonged violent large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people under the auspices of government. It is the most extreme form of collective violence. War is fought as a means of resolving territorial and other conflicts, as war of aggression to conquer territory or loot resources, in national self-defence or liberation, or to suppress attempts of part of the nation to secede from it. There are ideological and revolutionary wars. Since the Industrial Revolution the lethality of modern warfare has grown. World War I casualties were over 40 million and World War II casualties were over 70 million. Violence includes those acts that result from a power relationship, including threats and intimidation, neglect or acts of omission; such non-physical violence has
Ski warfare is the use of ski-equipped troops in war. Ski warfare is first recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. Preceding the Battle of Oslo in 1200, Norwegian troops used skis for reconnoitering, they were used in 1452 in Sweden, in the 15th to 17th centuries by various other Scandinavian countries. In 1767, military ski competitions began, they evolved into the Biathlon. Denmark-Norway ski troops were used against Sweden during the 1807–1814 Napoleonic Wars. During WWI the Italian Army raised 88 Alpini Battalions, their purpose was to fight winter in the highest regions of the Alpine Arch. Most of the battalions were dissolved after WWI. Only nine Alpini regiments remain in service today, only four still train every soldier in ski warfare: the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment, 5th Alpini Regiment, 6th Alpini Regiment and 7th Alpini Regiment. Ski troops played a key role in the successes of the Finnish war effort against the Soviet Union during the Winter War in 1939.
Forested, rural terrain with no roads was used by Finnish ski troops with great success against the advancing mechanized Soviet troops. In the Battle of Suomussalmi, two Soviet mechanized divisions were annihilated by three Finnish regiments; the Soviet Union deployed 11 ski battalions, among other troops, in November 1941 to reinforce their defenses in the Battle of Moscow. The most common transportation for Norwegian soldiers during the Norwegian Campaign in 1940 was skis and sleds, in Operation Gunnerside, paradropped Norwegian commandos covered a large distance using skis in order to reach and sabotage the heavy water plant Vemork at Rjukan in Telemark, being used by the Germans as part of their nuclear research programme. Ski warfare extended to the Middle East where the Australian Ski Corps were deployed against Vichy French forces in the mountains of Lebanon. During WWII, the United States Army 10th Mountain Division was established and trained for ski combat, they were deployed in Italy.
Swedish and Norwegian defense forces use skis in cross country skiing but by pulling squads of soldiers with tracked transport vehicles or snow mobiles. One or two ropes hang from the end of a tracked vehicle such as the famous Swedish Hägglunds Bandvagn 206 or the Finnish Sisu Nasu and troops hang onto the ropes with their hands and ski-poles. Many nations train troops in skiing and winter warfare, including: Austrian Army — Certain soldiers are trained in ski combat. Danish Navy — Slædepatruljen Sirius patrols Northern and Eastern Greenland. Estonian Army — Conscripts receive training in skiing and other winter warfare skills. Finnish Army — All soldiers are trained in ski combat, skiing is a part of standard required training for conscripts. French Army 27th Chasseurs Alpins Brigade German Bundeswehr Gebirgsjäger Hellenic Army — Greek Special Forces Command has a mountain ski warfare training center on Mount Olympus for Marines and Commandos. Italian Army has the Alpini Corp with 16 Regiments.
Israel Defense Forces Has a Special Alpinist Unit. Lebanese Armed Forces — Mountain Combat Company part of the Lebanese Commando Regiment Netherlands' — Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, Korps Commandotroepen and the 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade - annual exercises taking place in the interior of Northern Norway Norwegian Army — All soldiers are trained in ski combat. Polish Army — 21st Podhale Rifles Brigade and elements of the 6th Paratroopers Brigade. Romanian Land Forces — Vânători de Munte, all soldiers are trained in ski combat. Spain — "Brigada de Cazadores de Montaña Aragón I", in Jaca with a specialized section "Compañía de Esquiadores-Escaladores", in Jaca. Slovenian army — 132nd Mountain Battalion is trained in ski combat and mountain survival, Slovenian army is member of International Federation of Mountain Soldiers — IFMS. Slovenia is a host nation for NATO's Multinational Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare. Sweden — Majority of soldiers are trained in ski combat Switzerland's — 3rd Mountain Army Corps United Kingdom — Members of the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade are trained in alpine and cold weather warfare at facilities in Norway.
United States — The United States Marine Corps through the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in northern California. The Norwegian military have held skiing competitions since the 1670s; the sport of biathlon was developed from military skiing patrols. The United States ski patrol plays a vital role in the plot to the book A Separate Peace. Skiing and skiing topics History of skiing Aerosani Biathlon Cold-weather warfare Military patrol Finnish Tracked transport vehicle, SISU NA 110 Greek Ski troops in the Second World War
Christian terrorism comprises terrorist acts by groups or individuals who profess Christian motivations or goals. Christian terrorists justify their violent tactics through their interpretation of the Bible, in accordance with their own objectives and world view; these interpretations are different from those of established Christian denominations. These terrorist acts can be committed against other Christian denominations, other religions, or a secular government group, individuals or society. Christianity can be used cynically by terrorists as a rhetorical device to achieve political or military goals. Christian terrorist groups include paramilitary organizations and loose collections of people that might come together to attempt to terrorize another group; some groups encourage terrorist acts by unaffiliated individuals. The paramilitary groups are tied to ethnic and political goals as well as religious ones and many of the other groups have religious beliefs at odds with conventional Christianity.
The literal use of the phrase Christian terrorism is disputed. It appears in the academic literature to describe a large range of beliefs. Religion can be cited as the motivation for terrorism in conflicts that have a variety of ethnic and political causes, such as the one in Bosnia. In cases such as the Lord's Resistance Army or the Taiping Rebellion the beliefs of the founders differ from what is recognizably Christian. In such cases the term Christian terrorism is problematic despite the claim that they are motivated by their religious beliefs; the term terrorist can be applied for disingenuous reasons, to encourage public support for a groups vilification or allow the use of stricter laws in punishing a group or individual. The intimidation of minority communities along with sporadic acts of violence do not get referred to as terrorism. However, in 2015 a majority of Americans from both political parties thought that'attacks on abortion providers be considered domestic terrorism'. Christianity came to prominence in the Roman Empire during and directly after the rule of Constantine the Great.
By this time it had spread throughout western Asia as a minority belief and became the state religion of Armenia. In early Christianity there were many rival sects, which were collectively persecuted by some rulers. There is, however, no record of indiscriminate violence or attempts to use terror as a religious weapon by early Christian groups. Once a particular Christian sect or creed gained state backing religious violence increased; this took the form of persecuting adherents to other religions. In Europe during the Middle Ages Christian antisemitism increased and both the Reformation and Counter-Reformation led to an increase in interdenominational violence; as with modern examples it is debated as to what extent these acts were religious as opposed to ethnic or political in nature. The early modern period in Britain saw religious conflict resulting from the Reformation and the recusancy that emerged in opposition to it; the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed attempt by a group of English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I, to blow up the Palace of Westminster, the English seat of government.
Although the modern concept of religious terrorism, or indeed terrorism at all, had not yet come into use in the seventeenth century, David C. Rapoport and Lindsay Clutterbuck point out that the Plot, with its use of explosives, was an early precursor of nineteenth century anarchist terrorism. Sue Mahan and Pamala L. Griset classify the plot as an act of religious terrorism, writing that "Fawkes and his colleagues justified their actions in terms of religion." Peter Steinfels characterizes this plot as a notable case of religious terrorism. Orthodox Christian-influenced movements in Romania, such as the Iron Guard and Lăncieri, which have been characterized by Yad Vashem and Stanley G. Payne as anti-semitic and fascist they were involved in the Bucharest pogrom and committed numerous politically-motivated murders during the 1930s. After the American Civil War of 1861–1865, former Confederate soldiers organized the Ku Klux Klan organization as a social club, taken over in the next year by "night rider" elements.
It began engaging in arson, destruction of property, murder, tar-and-feathering and voter intimidation. They targeted newly freed slaves and scalawags, the occupying Union army; that iteration of the Klan disappeared by the 1870s, but in 1915 a new Protestant-led iteration of the Klan was formed in Georgia, during a period of xenophobia and anti-Catholicism. This version of the Klan vastly expanded both its geographical reach and its list of targets over those of the original Klan. Vehemently anti-Catholic, the 1915 Klan had an explicitly Protestant Christian terrorist ideology, basing its beliefs in part on a "religious foundation" in Protestant Christianity and targeting Jews and other social or ethnic minorities, as well as people who engaged in "immoral" practices such as adulterers, bad debters and alcohol abusers. From an early time onward, the goals of the KKK included an intent to "reestablish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible", it believed that "Jesus was the first Klansman".
Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality every Christian denomination has denounced the KKK. From 1915 onward, "second era" Klansmen initiated cross burnings, not only to intimidate targets, but to demonstrate their respect and reverence for Jesus Christ; the ritual of lighting crosses was steeped in
In desert warfare, the elements can sometimes be more dangerous than the actual enemy. The desert terrain is the second most inhospitable to troops following a cold environment; the low humidity, extremes of heat/cold, lack of obstacles and wild-life allows the increased use of electronic devices and unmanned aircraft for surveillance and attacks. The barrenness of the desert makes the capture of key cities essential to ensure the ability to maintain control over important resources and being able to keep a military well supplied; as such in conventional warfare this makes sieges a more frequent occurrence as the defender prepares entrenched positions to protect the cities that they are supplied from. Many deserts have limited amounts of noticeable landmarks and as such maneuvering through a desert can turn into a logistical nightmare. Militaries make use of cavalry to traverse the large expanses of a harsh desert without increasing the exertion of the warriors or soldier who are at a higher risk of dehydration because of the high temperatures during the day.
Mobility is essential to a successful desert war. This explains the heavy use of armour in battles such as El Alamein in the Second World War, it has been noted that mobility is so important in desert warfare, that battles can sometimes begin to resemble naval engagements, where the actual possession of territory is less important than the positions of one's tanks. There are many enemies to the desert fighter; these include aircraft, tanks, which can be menacing to desert guerrillas because there is little way to equal such force. Additionally, there are few places to hide from such weapons in the desert environment where there is little obstruction. Another problem is the sand dunes, mobility is reduced by 60%. With no firm and stable ground footing it is easy to slide down or get buried. Lack of water and extreme heat can cause complications when engaging in desert warfare. Another lethal enemy is the landmine. Though not limited to desert use, it is a deadly device and underrated in its importance, as it is difficult to detect and can deny mobility.
The scarcity of water may lead to change in bases, moving from one position to another looking for a water source. In desert warfare an individual's body temperature can reach unusual highs causing fever-like weakness and dehydration. Battle of Gazala First Battle of El Alamein Second Battle of El Alamein Battle of Asal Uttar Battle of Longewala Crimean War War of the Pacific in the Atacama Desert Middle Eastern theatre of World War I Middle Eastern and North African theatres of World War II Sand War Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 Six-Day War Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Yom Kippur War Western Sahara War Iran–Iraq War Gulf War Second Gulf War 2011 Libyan civil war Somali Civil War Syrian Civil War 2012 Northern Mali conflict Information site on Desert warfare, Iraq war Desert warfare: German experiences in WWII - Combined arms Research library
Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state's government, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent; the techniques include propaganda and psychological operations, which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations. Political warfare's coercive nature leads to weakening or destroying an opponent's political, social, or societal will, forcing a course of action favorable to a state's interest. Political war may be combined with violence, economic pressure and diplomacy, but its chief aspect is "the use of words and ideas".
The creation and continuation of these coercive methods are a function of statecraft for nations and serve as a potential substitute for more direct military action. For instance, methods like economic sanctions or embargoes are intended to inflict the necessary economic damage to force political change; the utilized methods and techniques in political war depend on the state's political vision and composition. Conduct will differ according to whether the state is authoritative, or democratic; the ultimate goal of political warfare is to alter an opponent's opinions and actions in favour of one state's interests without utilizing military power. This type of organized persuasion or coercion has the practical purpose of saving lives through eschewing the use of violence in order to further political goals. Thus, political warfare involves "the art of heartening friends and disheartening enemies, of gaining help for one's cause and causing the abandonment of the enemies'". Political warfare is distinguished by its hostile intent and through potential escalation.
Political warfare utilizes all instruments short of war available to a nation to achieve its national objectives. The best tool of political warfare is "effective policy forcefully explained", or more directly, "overt policy forcefully backed", but political warfare is used, as one leading thinker on the topic has explained, "when public relations statements and gentle, public diplomacy-style persuasion – the policies of'soft power' – fail to win the needed sentiments and actions" around the world. The major way political warfare is waged is through propaganda; the essence of these operations can be either covert. "White" or overt propaganda comes from a known source. "Gray" propaganda, on the other hand, is the "semiofficial amplification of a government's voice". Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are examples of "gray" propaganda during the Cold War. "Black" propaganda, however, is propaganda. The key to black propaganda is the fact that it most "appears to come from a disinterested source when in fact it does not".
There are channels. Sophisticated use of technology allows to disseminate information to a vast number of people; the most basic channel is the spoken word. This can include radio and television broadcasts. Overt or covert radio broadcasting can be an useful tool; the printed word is very powerful, including pamphlets, books, political cartoons, planted newspaper articles. Subversion, agents of influence, journalists, "useful idiots" can all be used as powerful tools in political warfare. Political warfare includes aggressive activities by one actor to offensively gain relative advantage or control over another. Between nation states, it can end in the seizure of power or in the open assimilation of the victimized state into the political system or power complex of the aggressor; this aggressor-victim relationship has been seen between rivals within a state and may involve tactics like assassination, paramilitary activity, coup d'état, revolution, guerrilla warfare, civil war. Foreign infiltration or liberation occurs when a government is overthrown by foreign military or diplomatic intervention, or through covert means.
The campaign's ultimate purpose is to gain control over another nation's political and social structure. The campaign could be led by the aggressor's national forces or by a political faction favorable to the aggressor within the other state. Paul M. Blackstock describes three stages involved in the extension of control by the aggressor over the victim:Penetration or infiltration: the deliberate infiltration of political and social groups within a victim state by the aggressor with the ultimate purpose of extending influence and control; the aggressor conceals its endgame, which goes beyond the normal influential nature of diplomacy and involves espionage. Forced disintegration or atomization: "is the breakdown of the political and social structure of the victim until the fabric of national morale disintegrates and the state is unable to resist further intervention"; the aggressor may exploit the inevitable internal tensions between political, ethnic, religious and other groups. This concept is a similar strategy to'divide and conquer'.
Subversion and defection: Subversion is the "undermining or detachment of the loyalties of significant political and social groups within the victimized state, their transference to the political or ideological causes of the a